At the start of the year, Ayten Gasson and I had a natter about things and decided that working together was both fun and ok money wise, which is the general aim for a business. Plus, Ayten was enjoying the option to do things a little more outrageous than her usual style, and indeed maybe to even indulge in... wait for it... synthetic fabrics. everyone's got to have a guilty pleasure, and for someone with a degree in fabrics and a specialism in silk, polyester tassels are definitely it.
She suggested I send her any fabrics I had, and I blithely said oh, I don't think I have hardly anything at all! I suffer a sort of amnesia that apparently every vaguely designery type I know seems to have, where we live in absolutely denial of our hording problem, in spite of having boxes and spare room FULL OF THINGS. Some exploring later, I sent over a selection of exciting frippers and fabrics. Some of them were vintage stock, and that's gone into Ayten's own styles:
Some of the fabrics and trims I bought from another small brand, Dirty Pretty Things. Now, their styles are very different to ours, but when someone is selling off half a roll of stretch silk at significantly less than £25 a metre, it's hard to resist. (Seriously, that's why stretch silk lingerie costs so much, your base materials are quite high. Though not as high as the most expensive laces, which run into the high hundreds a metre, for a thing 6 inches wide!)
So that's how you got fringed everything, silk chiffon, and this slate grey silk knicker.
This knicker, the open back knicker and their matching masks and cuffs all use what we tend to all call lace but is actually embroidered onto mesh. All have matching motifs, and it comes in various widths and formats - some of which we used on suspender and bra straps last year with Karolina. It also includes a sheer mesh full width fabric with the same metallic embroidery on, which Karolina *might* have made a cape with. Maybe :)
I have no idea where this originally came from, probably a large scale manufacturer who used it on a big range and then offloaded the bits. But we also got some embroidered lace with silver bits in, and I know where that originally came from; Myla. I sent a bit of it to Karolina Laskowska, ages ago, and a bit to Ayten last month.
Now, Ayten and Karolina are very different designers, with different backgrounds and styles. Ayten's been around longer than me, starting her business young with the help of the Princes Trust. Karolina IS young; she's in the industry because she read this article that I wrote, and believe me, once you've had to explain to someone's mum it's basically your fault they aren't going to be a lawyer anymore, you better look after them :)
And yet, here's what happened:
This is from Karolina's next collection, it's ouvert at the front.
This was Ayten's initial design idea, which has an ouvert back held together with satin ribbon ties. We scrapped it when I remembered seeing Karolina's.
Apparently, great minds think alike? But more importantly, if you're ever wondering about design - this is really how it works for the smallest brands. We work with what we can get, and sometimes that can make it uniqueness a challenge!
This week Morgana shot the Ayten styles with Sophie Roach modelling, so here's some more new lovely pictures. You can find the current styles on the site here, and we'll be doing new ones every now and then!